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Iran President hints at compromise, rejects arbitration over twin bills

President Mohammad Khatami on Sunday stuck to his guns over two bills, including one to prop up presidential power, rejecting arbitration of the Expediency Council, while he welcomed compromise with the supervisory Guardians Council, IRNA reported from Tehran.

The Guardians Council has rejected the bills on the ground that they fell foul of the Constitution, thus paving the way to succumb them to the arbitration of the Expediency Council, headed by former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Khatami ruled out riding roughshod on the Constitution or the Islamic Sharia law, but said "I believe there is need at this phase to reach understanding with the esteemed Guardians Council".

In a letter to Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi, enclosed with two booklets which contain the government's proposals to iron out areas of difference with the Guardians Council, Khatami has hoped "God willing, with the understanding between Majlis (parliament) and Guardians Council, we will manage to calmly pass through this phase".

"Otherwise, I do not regard advisable to refer the bill on presidential power to the State Expediency Council," the Iranian president added.

"Since I believe there is no major defect in the bill as long as the Sharia law and Constitution are concerned and if there is any, they are few and removable and there is complete readiness on our part for understanding with the esteemed Guardians Council," he added.

... Payvand News - 6/1/03 ... --

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